Wang Yi meets Putin in sign of deepening China-Russia ties

The warmth of Russia’s and China’s relationship has been on display in the Kremlin as President Vladimir Putin held talks with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi and hailed the importance of the two countries’ cooperation.

Images showed Wang and Putin exchanging a firm handshake and sitting across the table from each other during their meeting on Wednesday. Others showed Wang, the Chinese Communist Party’s most senior foreign policy official, looking relaxed as he walked with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Wang’s visit to Moscow – at the end of a tour of a number of European countries – comes nearly a year after Putin ordered troops into neighbouring Ukraine, starting a conflict that has left thousands dead, forced millions to flee and left Ukrainian towns and cities in ruins.

The war has also widened divisions between Russia and the world’s liberal democracies, mostly in the West, which are backing Ukraine and have imposed sanctions on Moscow. Ties between China and the United States are also under serious strain.

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Noting the escalation in international tensions, Putin said that “in this context, cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on the global arena is particularly important for stabilising the international situation”.

Ties between the two had reached “new frontiers”, he said, confirming that Chinese President Xi Jinping might soon travel to Moscow for a summit. The two men have met dozens of times since Xi became Chinese president.

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